This form of Mahakala has one head with three eyes and bared fangs, two hands holding a flaying knife and skull cup, and two legs, both bent as if crouching. There is normally a victim lying face upward under his feet.
The above has red pigment on his mitre-like hair. He wears a five-skull crown, jewellery, a sacred thread and a celestial scarf .
On this small clay sculpture (9,5 cm) he holds a danda stick across his chest. His hair, eyebrows, mouth and lower garment are also painted red.
We saw in a previous post two examples of panjarnata Mahakala seated rather than squatting, only the most recent one came complete with a victim under him. Part of his celestial scarf is broken but we can see how it formed an arch behind his head. There is an effigy of Akshobhya in his headdress and a long snake knotted across his belly in the guise of a sacred thread.
His danda stick has a flaming jewel at each end. The above wears his hair gathered in a bunch and topped with a half-vajra finial. He wears a garland of severed heads, a snake cord and beaded accessories including a belt with raining jewel pendants.
His hair is usually fastened with a cobra snake (or two).
On paintings he stands amidst blazing fire. On sculptures he may have a showy flaming mandorla attached to his back.